Sultry crime boss Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster, The Fast and the Furious) is back in the states and the D.E.B.S.- an elite team of paramilitary college co-ed superspies- are hot on her trail. But when their top ag... more »ent, gorgeous Amy Bradshaw (Sara Foster, The Big Bounce), mysteriously disappears after coming face to face with the attractive young villainess, the D.E.B.S. begin a full-scale search for Lucy's secret lair, never suspecting that Amy may not want to be rescued after all, in this smart and sexy spy spoof about love at first gun sight.« less
"Lots of people, including the venerable Ebert and Roeper, bash this movie for having no plot, bad acting, and unbearable cheesiness. I cannot defend this movie against people who made those claims. I can only say that I, as an audience, was truly entertained by this charming and witty little film. What can I say? The movie worked for me, and I was guiltily won by its unique charms.
Ebert's main criticism was that had this movie been about a heterosexual relationship, the plot would have been so absurdly mundane as to be unfilmable. "The only thing going for this film is the lesbian relationship". I agree. However, he misses the point that we are precisely here to watch a lesbian relationship, not to see some top-notch spy action thriller. We are not even here for the comedy, primarily. We are here to see a film in which a lesbian relationship is portrayed in a positive, light-hearted way that ends with a happy ending which, if you are a connoisseur of lesbian films, you will know is surprisingly rare.
Lesbians, and friends of lesbians (like me) are starving for good positive portrayals of women loving women; not as a guilty side story, not for shock-purposes, but as the main centrepiece of movie. D.E.B.S. succeeds because it portrays the central relationship in a refreshing, matter-of-fact way, while at the same time acknowledging that this is not the norm in our society. This is a very delicate balance that the film succeeds in perfectly. D.E.B.S. also succeeds because of its witty lines, sweet easy charm, and the fact that it's a good-natured film. To anthropomorphise the movie, D.E.B.S. is like a kind-hearted, adorable girl whom you can't help but like. Its heart is certainly in the right place. I'm so please, by the way, that this film received a PG-13 movie. Finally our country is realising that homosexuality by itself does not award an R-rating.
I thought the acting was in general very well done. Jordana Brewster in particular is irresistible and just believable enough to play the delicious lesbian "supervillain" Lucy Diamond, whose combination of hotness and insecurity are enough to cause formerly-straight government spies to question their orientation. Does she really look tough and/or mean enough to be the head of an international criminal syndicate? No, not really, but it works in this movie's slight off-kilter, over-the-top world. The love story between Brewster's character Lucy and the other main character, Amy, is adorable, sweet, funny, and ultimately heart-warming. You really do believe that they work as a couple, and want them to drive off into the sunset living to live happily ever after in Barcelona.
One quick word about the absolutely stunning Devon Aoki (Dominique), who plays the chain-smoking, hapa D.E.B.S. agent who's a sex addict and speaks with a French accent. Obviously her character was designed (and in the movie chosen) for the precise purpose of enticing and seducing men sexually, almost in a comically stereotypic way. (French accents typically being very appealing to American men). The grand irony perhaps then is how well it worked on me. Aoki smoulders on the screen in her few scenes with a kind of almost intolerable sexiness that destroys both reason and resistance with seemingly little conscious effort.
There are many different ways to enjoy D.E.B.S. However, it certainly does targets a certain type of audience, and perhaps it takes one with a certain mindset to be able to enjoy the movie. But if you're one of them, prepare for a rare treat. "
It's the small things.
Michael Joseph | Los Angeles | 07/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, as a straight male, I agree that this was a great characterization of a lesbian relationship. I found myself forgetting that it was two women, and merely hoping that they could make it work. Also as a straight male, the great looks of all the actresses didn't hurt, but that soon became background, sort of like after a while at a nude beach, it all seems normal. Or not.
Speaking of backgrounds, one of the reasons I enjoyed this movie so much was the obvious joy with which the cast performed in, and the crew participated in, the making of this movie. I'm going to point out some VERY funny jokes that were in the background that no one has mentioned, but not all of them - go watch it again, and find some on your own.
1. The "punk bar" itself. Those punks were obviously cast and crew members moms, dads, grandma, etc., who they called up and said "Hey! Wanna be in our movie?" Either that or, they were the oldest group of punks I've ever seen.
2. The "punks" were drinking out of glasses with "bendy straws", highly un-punklike behavior.
3. In this dangerous, underground punk bar, there was an undamaged foosball table. Doesn't this strike you as funny?
4. The pink fire hydrant.
5. Lucy's license plate - "NDASKY" - from the Beatles song "Lucy in the sky with Diamonds".
6. Perhaps the funniest, to me, joke was when Lucy and Amy sat down at the booth. Lucy set two beers down, one in front of each. The beers were Dos Equis, the logo of which is XX. What is the chromosomal difference between men and women? Men are XY, women are XX. This was a deliberatly placed joke. Two beers, deliberatly faced forward, one in front of each "girl", marked with the genetic symbol for "girl", in a "girl/girl" romantic scene. It was a deliberately concoted case of humorous overkill. That joke was one that someone thought up, everyone agreed that probably no one would get it, but said "What the heck WE'LL know it's there, and it's funny!".
7. The fact that she had a "beef" with Australia, of all countries, and that the large globe in her apartment had a big red "X" through the continent.
8. There's the "handle with care" signs in the final scene, but that's all I'm giving you, go look.
The point of this review is that some of these movies are a joyful labor for those involved. They know they're not going to get an Oscar, but they like the script, they like each other, and they go the extra "Green Mile" to put everything they've got, and everything they can think of into it. I often enjoy these small-budget movies more than their big-budget relatives, because they ARE labors of love, and that comes through the screen, as does the cast and crews affection for each other.
Too many were locked into watching beautiful girls in short skirts to look beyond them to the REAL humour and art contained in this movie. It's there, and it's worth the effort. Give it a shot.
Love is love, and funny is funny. I'm just sayin'"
D.iscipline, E.nergy, B.eauty.... Great movie !
Cedar Waxwing | Boulder, Colorado | 06/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Glad to have seen the more positive reviews on this movie, I almost passed it up. A PG13 rating helped, too.
How could anyone not like this movie.
The premise of the movie is a secret espionage agency that recruits high schoolers who score high on an SAT test that is secretly manipulated to show innate traits (or high probabililty) to lie, cheat, fight, or kill.
Four recruits have spent the last 4 years at James Morrison University, a rouse for espionage school. Amy (Sara Foster), Max (Meagan Good), Janet (Jill Ritchie), and Dominique (Devon Aoki) are a squad and are assigned to spy on the master criminal Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster).
Lots of perspective in this gem of a movie. Amy is writing a thesis on the elusive Lucy Diamond. When Amy finally comes face to face with her, all her assumptions are "torpedoed." Sensing an attraction, Lucy Diamond pursues Amy, when the conventional doesn't work, she resorts to creating events that bring Amy to her. The name Lucy Diamond may invoke "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds": LSD (cultural drug used heavily in the 60's and 70's, during the civil rights struggle and the Vietnam war). Amy says "...love should be irresistible like a drug. When it happens, you're not able to help yourself..." you want more. Amy broke up with her boyfriend of 8 months and she reflected this thought when Lucy asked her why.
Many clever themes are barely under the surface in this movie. Angela Robinson used not so obvious to point to the obvious, very clever indeed. One more example, Amy is the best spy ever recruited and is nicknamed the "perfect score." This information leads Amy to the truth when she discovers that she holds the perfect score for lying. The espionage agency took the information to mean she is the perfect spy.
A bow to Angela Robinson for creating a unique story, sprinkling it with memories of Charlie's Angels, Mission Impossible, and I can't think of the other show there was a tinge of. The cast is delightful, all-star. It is wonderful to see Holland Taylor (Ms. Petrie), Michael Clarde Duncan (Mr. Phipps), and Jordana Brewster (Lucy Diamond) who played the first "Nicki Munson" on the daytime soap "As the World Turns."
This story could go on forever. It is young love at it's best as the song in the movie suggests: "It was young love at it's best and it is You that I'll remember." (song, Into the Morning, sung by The Weekend, the D.E.B.S soundtrack).
Thanks Angela Robinson, it was great fun. This is a one of a kind movie."
Anne D. | Caracas, Venezuela | 08/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is really sweet...as well as funny, and grately written and directed by the wonderful Angela Robinson. The girls (and guys!) in it are not only excellent in their roles, but also amazingly beautiful. Lucy and Amy (Jordana and Sara) make a beautiful and believable couple, the interaction between them is wonderful (as well as with the rest of the cast) both on and off camera and, even though some people could find it a bit corny, there HAS to be something seriously wrong with whoever sees this movie and doesn't end up smiling. Overall, this is an extraordinary little piece of work, Angela rules, the casting was spot on and if your looking to have a very good time watching a heartwarming love story with a happy ending -that just happens to be a queer film that ACTUALLY portraits being a lesbian as NOT such an end-of-the-wold big deal- well then do yourself a favor and WATCH THIS MOVIE...do not let the critics form a preconceived idea in your head about this film, just walk in with an open mind and willing to have a good time and make your own desicion about it, just think for yourself!....^_^"
Mark Wylie | Spokane, WA United States | 09/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"D.E.B.S. is a movie that ordinarily I would have not even been aware of; however, over a year ago, I found myself watching the short on which it is based on Sundance channel. I was sufficiently entertained to buy this DVD when it came out, and was quite happy to have done so. While D.E.B.S. is not a great film, it has what I would term a "heart" which makes it extremely enjoyable.
D.E.B.S attempts to blend two genres--it is both a spoof of spy/action films and a light romantic comedy. The spy spoofing consists of the efforts of the "DEBS" of the title--college students in prep-school uniforms who are spies/crime fighters in training--to capture the "badass master criminal" of the piece, Lucy Diamond. The "DEBS" in question are Max (the fanatic overachiever and team leader), Dominique (a perpetually smoking "sex addict"), Janet (she's awkward, but sweet, and her heart's in the right place), and Amy (the straight-A spy-in-training who's unsure of her vocation). The romantic comedy, which gradually becomes the dominant element of the story, concerns the romance that develops between Amy and Lucy Diamond.
It would be unfair to expect D.E.B.S., on a tiny $4 million budget and a very tight 28 day shooting schedule, to contain dazzling action scenes along the lines of the films it parodies, and it doesn't. It perhaps would be more fair to expect it to have a relatively believable story-line, which it doesn't have either (Angela Robinson`s script does have quite a lot of good, smart dialogue). But fairness would also compel us to note that few spy/action films or romantic comedies have plausible story lines, either. When these films succeed, they usually do so because the actors involved succeed in creating likeable, engaging characters who allow us to ignore the holes in the plot.
On that front, D.E.B.S. has three definite positives, and no real weaknesses. The biggest positive is Jordana Brewster, who plays Lucy Diamond, the nominal "villain." The camera clearly loves Brewster, who is the center of attention almost every time she's onscreen. She has wonderful talent for facial expression--there's one scene where she goes from projecting sadness to joy with just a subtle change of expression. She gives Lucy the right blend of confidence and vulnerability to make her a sympathetic character.
The other positives are Jill Ritchie as Janet and Jimmi Simpson as Scud, Lucy's right-hand man. Ritchie has great comic delivery (she gets a lot of the good lines and makes the most of them) and (like Brewster) she proves the old adage that film acting, unlike stage acting, is done more with the face than the voice--some of her reaction shots are priceless. As Scud, Simpson delivers a clever twist on the typical "chief henchman" role seen so often in the Bond films--instead of being a silent killing machine-type, he's his boss`s sensitive confidant and emotional support. Ritchie and Simpson also display nice chemistry in their brief scenes together.
The other main players do not stand out like Brewster, Ritchie or Simpson, but they are all satisfactory. Sara Foster as Amy holds up her end of the romance fairly well and has good chemistry with Brewster; she has a few awkward moments but rises to the occasion in her big speech at the end. Meagan Good and Devon Aoki, as Max and Dominique respectively, do well with characters that are less developed than Lucy, Janet or Scud. Good is probably the best performer in the action scenes, while Aoki deserves mention for one of the funniest faux-French accents since the days of Inspector Clouseau. Rounding out the cast are Jessica Cauffiel as a Russian assassin (she's hilarious), Holland Taylor and Michael Clarke Duncan as the heads of the D.E.B.S. program, and Geoff Shults as Bobby, Amy's ex-boyfriend who doesn't quite get the "ex" part.
The DVD picture and sound quality are excellent. There is a decent selection of extras, including 1) a few deleted or extended scenes, 2) a pair of commentaries, one from both director/writer/editor Angela Robinson, and the other from the main actresses (Devon Aoki excepted), 3) a music video of The Weekend's "Into the Morning," which is the end title theme, 4) a short "making-of" featurette, and 5) a few odds and ends concerning the origins of the film in a comic strip conceived of by Robinson while she was in film school. The one glaring omission is the previously mentioned 2003 short (maybe there were some copyright considerations involved as otherwise, including it would be pretty obvious).
If you want to watch a cinema classic, D.E.B.S. is not the film for you. But if you simply want an entertaining 90 minutes, and to end up with a smile on your face and feeling good inside, D.E.B.S. is likely to be more satisfying than many more-hyped films. During 2005, prior to buying this DVD, I saw at least 5 or 6 big-budget action films in the theater. There's only one of them I'm likely to buy on DVD, and none of them--Batman Begins, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Fantastic Four and The Island among them--that was more enjoyable to watch than D.E.B.S."